The design and construction team at SLAM worked closely with TheaterWorks Hartford to establish phased renovations and budgeting to upgrade the 1927 City Arts Building located at 233 Pearl Street in Downtown Hartford. The renovations were funded through a 2.7 million dollar State Department of Economic Community Development (DECD) Grant in conjunction with local fundraising efforts.
TheaterWorks Hartford needed extensive improvements to its historic 1927 downtown Hartford building, the former Hartford Gas Company, including the lower level theater and support spaces, main lobby and infrastructure. The phased renovation included replacement of the HVAC system, electrical and fire alarm systems upgrades, and renovations to the theater lobby; exposing the original decorative vaulted ceilings, improved lighting, installation of a new elevator and reestablishing access to the existing ornamental stair for improved patron flow to the theater level. Other renovations included new patron bathrooms, renovated actors’ spaces including dressing rooms, backstage area and performance space. A new cafe was also part of the renovation.
The lower level theater area underwent significant upgrades, including the replacement of all seating, expansion of the ceiling grid, relocation of a new control booth, new lighting, expanded dressing rooms for performing artists and an expanded open stage area, which provides additional space for scenery and set design. The renovations to the theater lobby included the design of a glass wall enclosing the existing stair which has greatly impacted the flow of patrons to the theater level.
The renovations were designed to address aging & failing infrastructures, accessibility, safety and improve the patron experience and the artistic production.
More than just a landmark on Pearl Street, the newly renovated TheaterWorks Hartford, has been a major contributor to the arts in Hartford and a convener of nearly 20 community events annually. Beyond theatrical productions, TheaterWorks Hartford is host to community events showcasing their expertise as storytellers and ambassadors for the city. The renovations embrace the buildings history, invite the public and expand the company’s community outreach.
“Because of the upgrade we will be able to function better, which means we can even be more adventurous in what we’re producing. I hope it will elevate our already evolving national reputation.”